Sue Young Histories

Rene Felix Eugene Allendy 1889 - 1942

November 27, 2008

Rene Felix Eugene Allendy (photo used courtesy of Homéopathe International) 1889 - 1942 was a famous French homeopath. He was a physician at the Leopold Bellan hospital and at the tuberculosis prevention clinics run by Hygiene Sociale de la Seine and the Saint Jacques hospital.

Allendy was a founder with Rene Laforgue, A. Borel, R. Loewenstein, G. Parcheminey, Edouard Pichon and Marie Bonaparte of the psychoanalytical Société of Paris (SPP) in 1926.

A French homeopathic doctor and psychoanalyst, René Allendy was one of the founding members of the Société psychanalytique de Paris. He was born on February 19, 1889, in Paris; his father was a shopkeeper from the Isle of Maurice and his mother was from Picardy. He died in Montpellier on July 12, 1942.

When he was three, he contracted bronchial pneumonia from his nurse and during childhood lived through a number of often serious illnesses, including diphtheria complicated by quadriplegia.

A student of the Marist brothers at the Collège Saint Joseph in Paris, he completed his study of the humanities at the Lycée Janson de Sailly. He enrolled in the School of Oriental Languages to learn Russian. Later, he received a degree in Swedish from the Scandinavian Language Institute.

After receiving his medical degree from the School of Medicine of Paris on November 12, 1912 (his dissertation was entitled “L’Alchimie et la Médicine” [Alchemy and medicine]), he married Yvonne Nel Dumouchel, just seven days later. Until her death in 1935, she remained his constant companion and collaborator. In 1936 he married Colette Nel Dumouchel, Yvonne’s sister.

After being mobilized in 1914, he was gassed in Champagne, later declared tubercular, and given a disability pension. He practiced medicine in Paris at the Léopold Bellan hospital and at the tuberculosis prevention clinics run by Hygiène Sociale de la Seine and the Saint-Jacques hospital, where he provided homeopathic treatments from 1932 to 1939.

With his wife Yvonne he founded, in 1922, the Philosophic and scientific study group for the examination of new ideas at the Sorbonne, where a number of speakers from France and other countries spoke on science, art, and psychoanalysis.

He defined the organization’s goals this way: “In order that the great movement of contemporary ideas might lead, without impediment, to practical realizations, it is essential to study the meaning of the future and hasten its spread.”

Analyzed in 1924 by Rene Laforgue, he practiced medicine, homeopathy, and psychoanalysis, studied esotericism and numerology, and published extensively in all these fields. Aside from his private practice, located at 67, rue de l’Assomption, in Paris, he worked as a psychoanalyst in the department of Professor Claude at Sainte Anne.

In 1924 he wrote, together with Laforgue, La Psychanalyse et les Nevroses (Psychoanalysis and neuroses), which appeared with a preface by Professor Claude. The same year, the review Le Disque vert published “La Libido” in an issue dedicated to Freud.

He wrote more than thirty articles for homeopathy journals and was equally productive in the field of psychoanalysis: Les Rêves et leur Interprétation psychanalytique (Dreams and their psychoanalytic interpretation; 1926), Le Problème de la destinée (The problem of destiny; 1927), Orientations des idées médicales (Orientations of medical ideas; 1928), La Justice intérieure (Interior justice; 1931) and La Psychanalyse, doctrine et application (Psychoanalysis: theory and application; 1931).

Although he often wrote about unorthodox subjects, his theoretical positions remained fairly orthodox; he was, however, open to many of Carl Gustav Jung’s ideas, such as that of the collective unconscious.

His book on Paracelsus remains a standard reference for admirers of the “accursed doctor.”

With Yvonne he published Capitalisme et Sexualité (Capitalism and sexuality) in 1932. He was a friend of Antonin Artaud, and he was also Artaud’s therapist; other patients included René Crevel and Anaïs Nin, who described Allendy in detail in her Journal.

With Edouard Pichon, he drafted the first statutes of the Paris Psychoanalytic Society, where he was secretary from 1928 to 1931.

In 1942, in Montpellier, he dictated his last thoughts on the illness that would soon take his life. A strange mixture of lucidity and blindness, these were published in 1944 as the Journal d’un médicin malade (Journal of a sick doctor).

Yvonne Allendy Nel Dumouchel 1890 - 1935

Yvonne Allendy Nel Dumouchel was born in Paris on September 3, 1890, and died there on August 23, 1935. Alice Yvonne Nel Dumouchel (she later gave up the name Alice) married Rene Allendy, homeopathic doctor and future founding member of the Paris Psychoanalytic Society, on November 19, 1912.

In 1922, together with her husband, she created the Groupe d’études philosophiques et scientifiques pour l’examen des idées nouvelles, at the Sorbonne. She was coauthor with him of Capitalisme et Sexualité (Capitalism and sexuality; 1931), a work whose subject matter touched upon communism and feminism.

Claiming that life is an ongoing, and one way, adaptation guided by our instincts, the authors affirm that capitalism intensifies the conflicts between the instincts of possession and those leading to procreation, that economic concerns increase in importance and are substituted, in the relations between the sexes, for values of a sentimental nature.

“Woman experiences economic servitude combined with sexual dependence, her illusory emancipation is added to her responsibilities.”

Faced with these difficulties, they stipulate a kind of economic regulatory system, national and international, culminating in the abolition of capitalism. As far as the modern family is concerned, they want to see the State substituted for the father as the economic provider. Their analysis cites both Freud and Engels.

Under the pseudonym of Jacques Poisson, Yvonne Allendy published a number of articles on the relationship between art and psychoanalysis. Speaking of the cinema, she affirmed that her subject must include the new field then of concern to researchers: the unconscious psychic apparatus, which dominates drama.

Allendy claimed that only the cinema is capable of clearly reproducing the thought image in all its dizzying rapidity. In “Littérature moderne et psychanalyse” (April 1923), she makes use of Freud’s methods to clarify literature, painting, and especially the work of the avant garde. Guillaume Apollinaire, Jean Cocteau, Philippe Soupault, and Blaise Cendrars were all examined for their Freudian symbolism.

She suggested that there would be “more to gain in expanding our knowledge of human nature” if psychoanalysts were to study Dadaist texts “than there would be in having professors of literature explain classical texts.” She died in 1935 and her sister Colette became Rene Allendy’s companion. Colette ran a gallery of modern art after the Second World War.

Rene Felix Eugene Allendy also had an affair with Anaïs Nin.


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